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The Lisbon System

The Lisbon System

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The Lisbon System facilitates the international protection of appellations of origin through one single registration procedure. The Lisbon system does away with the need to file multiple registrations at different offices and covers over two dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
The Lisbon System facilitates the international protection of appellations of origin through one single registration procedure. The Lisbon system does away with the need to file multiple registrations at different offices and covers over two dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

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01/21/2014

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 THE LISBON SYSTEM
INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION FOR IDENTIFIERS OF TYPICAL PRODUCTS FROM A DEFINED GEOGRAPHICAL ARE
 
Champagne, Cognac, Roquefort, Chianti, Porto, Tequila, Darjeeling,
 are some examples of
names which are associated with products of a certain nature, quality and geographical origin.
Protected indications, also considered as a collective tool for producers to promote the products of their territory, can acquire a high reputation and therefore turn into valuable commercial assets for local producers, and to a larger extent, also represent a factor of
national economic development and sustainability of traditional products. For this very
reason they are often exposed to misappropriation or counterfeiting by unauthorized third parties, for unrelated products, and their protection is highly desirable both at the national and international level.
The legal protection provided by geographical indications and appellations of origin is based
on the recognition of a connection between the quality or characteristics of such products and a specific geographical area.
 WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PROTECTION UNDER THE LISBON SYSTEM ?
Geographical indications are protected in accordance with international
treaties and national laws under a wide range of concepts, including
sui generis laws for the protection of geographical indications or
appellations of origin, trademark laws in the form of collective marks
or certification marks, laws against unfair competition, consumer
protection laws, or specific laws or decrees that recognize individual geographical indications. Securing protection for such indications in
other countries has, however, been complicated due to differences in legal concepts existing from country to country in this regard.
 As its name indicates, The Lisbon Agreement
for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and
Their International Registration (hereinafter
referred to as ‘the Lisbon Agreement’) was
specifically concluded in response to the need for an international system that would facilitate
the protection of a special category of such
geographical indications, i.e. “appellations
of origin”, in countries other than the country
of origin, by means of their registration with
WIPO through a single procedure, for a
minimum of formalities and expense.
The Lisbon Agreement helps protect national
economic interests : in many countries, goods
bearing an appellation of origin represent a substantial share of exports, and it is therefore important that the appellations
should be effectively protected against any
appropriation in the largest possible number
of countries.
 A FEW FACTS
The Lisbon Agreement was adopted in 1958 and revised at Stockholm in 1967. It entered
into force on September 25, 1966, and is
administered by the International Bureau of
WIPO, which keeps the International Register
of Appellations of Origin and publishes a bulletin entitled “Appellations of origin”, which is also available in electronic format on the WIPO website at http ://www.wipo.
int/lisbon/en/ .The list of Contracting Parties to the Lisbon  Agreement can be found on WIPO’s website,
at the following address: www.wipo.int/export/ 
sites/www/treaties/en/documents/pdf/lisbon.
pdf
© Parmigiano Reggiano
 
 WHAT IS AN APPELLATION OF ORIGIN ?
 An appellation of origin is a special kind of geographical indication. It generally consists of a geographical name or a traditional designation used on products which have a specific quality or characteristics that are essentially due to the geographical environment in which they are produced.
Under Article 2 of the Lisbon Agreement, appellations of origin are defined as follows : ‘Appellation
of origin means the geographical denomination of a country, region or locality which serves to
designate a product originating therein, the quality or characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors. The country
of origin is the country whose name, or the country in which is situated the region or locality whose name, constitutes the appellation of origin that has given the product its reputation.’
More specifically, under the Lisbon Agreement the Contracting Parties undertake to protect on their territories those appellations of origin of products of the other signatories of the Agreement provided they have been registered at WIPO. In order to qualify for international registration, the
protection 
 of the appellation of origin must have been formalized first in the country of origin, either by means of legislative provisions, or administrative provisions, or a judicial decision or any form of registration.
 
 WHY PROTECT  APPELLATIONS OF ORIGIN ?
 Appellations of origin are a collective tool for
producers to promote the products of their territory and also preserve their quality and
reputation acquired over time. The use of the protected appellation of origin is reserved to
those producers that are able to meet a number
of specifications, including geographical area
of production, methods of production, product
specificities, etc. As such, an effective and modern system for the protection of appellations of origin benefits :
The producers
 : the appellation helps producers obtain good prices for their products. In that sense, appellations of origin can be perceived as a form of compensation for maintaining high and constant levels of quality.
The consumers
 : appellations of origin provide guarantees to consumers with respect to
production methods and quality.
Economic development
 : appellations of origin are tools for the development and promotion of regions and countries. When the name of a product receives protection as an appellation of origin, the local communities benefit from the positive impact, in various ways : the appellation increases production and creates jobs (differentiation strategy which results in higher prices while also helping to sustain the production of traditional products)
 the appellation enables improved redistribution of the added value across the whole production
chain, from the producer of the raw material to the manufacturer.
© La Vallée des Baux de Provence

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